Australia and the rise of the multi-unit

Will-multiunits-continue-to-pick-up-pace-_157_6007922_0_14102590_300While the Australian dream is traditionally the detached home with kids in the suburbs, changing attitudes among buyers seem to be driving a slow but unstoppable shift in the type of dwellings being constructed in our capital cities. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) recently released a discussion paper into Australia’s changing residential real estate landscape, and while detached homes still account to 70 per cent of the market, trends in the last 20 years point to what may happen in the future.

Apartments on the move – and fast

The HIA paper, titled The Changing Composition of Australia’s New Housing Mix, notes that multi-unit dwellings “are now a far more significant part of the new home building market than at any other point in Australia’s history”.

In fact, between December 1993 and December 2014, the market share that this type of housing has risen from approximately 5 per cent all the way to roughly 25 per cent. The report states that this reflects a shift in what the Australian dream is, as well as the makeup of society. A more diverse set of cultures and lifestyles has taken hold and, for many, this does not include the suburban detached home.

A shift away from larger families

This could mean more and more young people are prioritising work and living centrally over having a family and a larger home. Recent RP Data research from Robert Larocca could indicate this. His findings showed that in 2013 and 2014, only 1 per cent of apartments in Melbourne had four bedrooms.

However, the overarching trend appears to be fewer bedrooms in apartments. With multi-unit dwelling construction still expected to continue strongly according the the HIA report, this presents a clear depiction of one current Australian housing trend.

On top of this, anyone looking for apartments in Sydney may find affordability more in their favour. Property Observer interpreted RP Data figures and noted that while growth is continuing upwards in the NSW capital, apartment values are rising at a much slower rate than houses.

This suggests apartments will be easier to buy in the near future, while still continuing to accrue value.

Preparing for the future

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has also forecast that there will be 4.3 million more households by the year 2036, with couple-only families expected to make the largest increase. This type of family is predicted to increase in prominence by 64 per cent from 2011 levels.

This suggests that small apartment could continue at an ever faster clip, and is a trend well worth following into the future.

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